Today is a rather eventful date for laptop hardware. Intel has officially dropped its 10th Gen Core Comet Lake-H CPUs and Nvidia gave us RTX Super cards for mobile. Naturally, neither of these announcements comes as a surprise to major laptop vendors, who have been hard at work, refreshing models and integrating the new silicon. Now that the floodgates are open, so to speak, there is an avalanche of new laptop announcements to dig through as well.
Kicking off with the 2020 Razer Blade 15. The new revision of the popular gaming notebook will be available in May in what are actually two separate, very similar, yet a bit different versions. Among other design tweaks, both are getting a new keyboard layout, which now has a smaller, but arguably better-positioned arrow key arrangement - the older layout was subject to quite a bit of criticism.
Starting with the base Blade 15 variant, for $1,599 you get a new 10th Gen i7-10750H processor, which packs six cores and eight threads and a base clock of 2.6GHz, with a boost of 5GHz. It comes with a GTX1660 Ti in its base configuration and can be configured with the older Nvidia RTX 2070 Max-Q.
It starts with a matte 144Hz FHD LCD and can be upgraded to an OLED. It also gets an Ethernet port, which is not the case on the “Advanced model".
Speaking of, the Razer Blade 15 “Advanced” gets a UHS-III SD card reader and the ability to charge via any of its Type-C ports. There are other external and internal differences in the “Advanced” as well, including, but not limited to a more complicated Vapor Chamber cooling design, per-key RGB Razer Chroma illumination and, of course, higher-tier silicon.
It packs the new eight-core, sixteen-thread 10th Gen i7-10875H beast, which might not be the highest-tier i9, but still goes up to a 5.1GHz turbo. It starts with one of the new Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super cards and can be specked-up to the RTX 2080 Super. Both of these are of the Max-Q variety, which Nvidia claims has seen a generational improvement in power efficiency up to 50%. In the monitor department, you get a 300Hz LCD in the base model, or, you can upgrade to an OLED. The OLED panel even comes complete with touchscreen and Corning Gorilla Glass for protection.
Both the base and “Advanced” Blade 15 models ship with 16GB of DDR4 RAM, employ a glass-covered trackpad with Windows Precision drivers and use an expandable M.2 2280 SSD - 256GB and 512GB, respectively.
Moving on to another “flashy” gaming offer, we have then Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 15. The big party trick here being that besides the main 15.6-inch display, you also get a secondary 14.1-inch 3840 x 1100 pixel display, propped-up at a convenient 13 degree angle, by a hinge that also makes room for some extra air intakes. Obviously, it takes after the dual-screen design of other company offers, like the Zenbook Pro Duo and the Zenbook Duo. While those are decently competent for gaming in their own right, the Zephyrus Duo 15 is officially part of the ROG line and has the aesthetics to match the horsepower.
And boy does it have horse power. Currently, Asus has detailed a few configuration. The top-of-the-line one will set you back $3,699.99 and should be available on June 1. It features the beastly new flagship Core i9-10980HK (8 cores and 16 threads, with a ludicrous max single core Turbo of 5.3 GHz), 32GB of RAM, 2TB of storage and a full-fat RTX 2080 Super (no Max-Q here). Top that off with a 4K 60Hz panel.
Asus has another option in the display department, though – a FullHD panel, that can do 300Hz. Apparently, it will be available on two configurations, starting June 29. The first $3,499 one is identical to the top-tier, but drops the RAM down to 16GB and the storage to 1TB. The most “affordable” $2,999 will also get the 300Hz panel, but drops the CPU down to a Core i7-10875H and the GPU to an RTX 2070 Super (again not Max-Q). Interestingly enough, it does pack the full 2TB of storage and 32GB of RAM.
All of the configurations get a 90Wh battery and USB Type-C charging support. The 4K panel option covers 100% of the Adobe RGB color space and is more geared towards creative work. As for utilizing the secondary display, beyond things like multi-tasking in Windows, with UI for streaming and chatting, Asus has also partnered with Adobe to develop special interfaces. Same goes for Techland, who are working on optimizing Dying Light 2 and there area already companion apps for League of Legends, Fortnite, and CS:GO.
Asus is also in the process of refreshing some other parts of its laptop lineup with Intel and Nvidia’s new chips. This includes a new Zephyrus S17, Zephyrus S15, and Zephyrus M15. Also Strix Scar 15, Strix Scar 17, as well as ROG Strix G15 and G17. Those will be coming to North America in Q2 and Q3.
Asus doesn't have working drivers in asus.com for its notebooks. Asus expects you to visit service center and pay a small fee of $3.99 to obtain drivers. And if Asus caught you having installed more RAMs, another $5.99 or kiss your warranty goodbye.